Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
  • Home

Gruden Makes It Official; Griese To Start Sunday

Posted Sep 10, 2008 by Roy Cummings

Updated Sep 10, 2008 at 08:09 PM

TAMPA Something is wrong with Jeff Garcia, something that goes way beyond that ankle problem that materialized overnight Sunday.

Bucs coach Jon Gruden isn’t sure what it is. All he knows is he can’t trot Garcia out onto the field as his starting quarterback again until the problem is corrected.

That’s why Gruden told Garcia on Tuesday and the rest of the world Wednesday that Brian Griese will start at quarterback for the Bucs when they take on the Falcons on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

“I’m a pretty good judge of Jeff Garcia and I’m a big believer in him,” Gruden said in explaining the move. “I just believe that right now, what we’re seeing is not what Jeff Garcia is capable of doing.

“Right now he’s not the same guy that he was. So until I see the ball thrown with the crisp, accurate velocity, the confident swagger that we’re used to seeing, we’re going to let him sit out.”

The change didn’t come as much of a surprise. Garcia struggled in the opener against the Saints last week, missing several open receivers, and Gruden sounded a lot like a guy who was ready to make a switch when he revealed Garcia’s ankle injury Monday.

Nor will it come as much of a surprise if this change becomes permanent. Gruden said he was simply giving Garcia the week off to find his rhythm, but there’s a good chance Griese will remain the starter if he can pull the Bucs back onto the winning track.

“Hey, life is all about making the most of your opportunities,” said Gruden, who saw Griese make quite a lot out of an opportunity with the Bucs back in 2004.

After taking over for a struggling Brad Johnson and an injured Chris Simms in Week 5 of that year, Griese won four of his first seven starts to help the Bucs rebound from an 0-4 start.

He didn’t rally the Bucs well enough to get them into the playoffs that year, but he did impress them enough to return as the starter in 2005. Griese took good advantage of that opportunity as well.

He guided the Bucs to victories in each of their first four games and was helping them win their fifth game in six tries when a knee sprain knocked him out for the season.

Simms took over after that and after finishing off the Bucs’ 2005 playoff run, Simms was named the Bucs starter for 2006. Griese, meanwhile, was deemed too expensive and expendable, and after being let go, he signed with the Bears.

Griese didn’t get much of an opportunity in the Windy City. He didn’t start a game for the Bears in 2006 and was removed as the starter after only six starts there in 2007.

He was looking at spending another year as a Chicago backup when the Bucs brought him back in a trade this past offseason. Now Griese is right back where he was in 2005, which suits him just fine.

“When I left here in 2005, I felt like I had unfinished business here,” Griese said. “I mean, it really hurt when I was injured and didn’t have a chance to come back.

“I knew we had a good team, and really, [being let go] stung. Ever since then I wanted that chance to come back and finish that business and that’s how I’m going to approach this opportunity.”

Griese, 33, faces a lot of the same challenges as Garcia, who was not made available to the media Wednesday and did not respond to phone or text messages left for him.

He takes over a first-unit offense that he has not run for nearly three weeks. It’s possible he could struggle to find his rhythm in much the same way Garcia did, but with the Bucs sitting at 0-1, he says he can’t afford to do that.

“I have to hit the ground running, so I have to do everything I can this week to be prepared so that come Sunday, I can be up to speed,” Griese said. “There is no room for error.”

Garcia, who missed the majority of training camp and the preseason because of a right calf strain, struggled mostly to get into sync with Joey Galloway, the Bucs’ top offensive weapon.

Griese, who ran the offense in Garcia’s stead and compiled a 94.2 passer rating along the way, has barely worked at all with Galloway this year, but he believes he and Galloway can make a connection quickly.

“The one unique thing is that I do have a relationship with Joey going back a ways,” said Griese, who worked with Galloway in 2004 and 2005. “I’ve thrown a lot of balls to him in my career, so I’ll lean on that.

“He is a unique individual when you’re throwing the ball to him. The next two days we’ll try to get as much work in together as we can and then go out on Sunday and do the best we can against Atlanta.”

Reader Comments

Por (joe) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

haaaa…i knew it! Good move, Bucs! NOW, we have a chance! Goodbye forever, Garcia. I will miss Carmella…

Suggest removal

Por (Gruden bites) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

It doesn’t matter who is playing QB if the calls being sent in are horrible.
They were running the ball great on Sunday but instead he throws the ball 40 plus times! Gruden needs to go and sooner would be better than later.
The offensive guru that has not had a decent offense since he got here (including the superbowl year). The only thing offensive about him is his inability to build an offense that can move the ball! 13 points is not going to cut it.

Suggest removal

Por (Don) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I’m glad the Bucs have noticed that Garcia’s play isn’t quite where it was.  Truth be told, his play has been erratic at best since his return from injury last year.  I think the Bucs had some ongoing concerns, which is why they didn’t give in to the contract demands and why they showed interest in Favre.

Suggest removal

Por (Randall Freeman) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Hopefully Gruden will be able to talk Griese into staying sober on Saturday night before the game.  Boy does this guy know how to throw em back at the place that sounds like “FOOTERS”.

Suggest removal

Por (gt) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

This isn’t really surprising. gruden always wanted griese to be his qb even when he was here the first time. gruden is a out of control offensive coordinator trying to be a coach. the mutant fans that fellow him and think that he’s great, deserve what’s going on with the bucs. at one time the bucs was feared, now teams laugh at them.  great job gruden ( AKA FRANCHISE DESTROYER JUST ASK GANNON) and mutant buc fans ( gruden followers.

Suggest removal

Por (George L Hicks) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Well fans, I think its the right moved to let Garcia rest for two weeks. Remember He has not been up to par ever since he came to camp. Maybe just Maybe the staff knew that Garcia is in his later years. I feel that I do like the QB sistutation with Griese, McGown and Rookie Johnson. My big question is why if Garcia Got hurt, Why didn’t he tell somebody and put Griese in to win the game!

Suggest removal

Por (Oliver) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I’m pretty disgusted that some fans appear happy that Garcia is injured.

He didn’t have a great game on Sunday, but the amount of penalties and lack of run game meant it was always going to be tough to win. And the Bucs nearly did.

The Bucs can get through this Atlanta game and even the Chicago game with Griese, but when the likes of Green Bay, Carolina and Dallas are the opponents, we will need a healthy Garcia.

However, Griese right now gives us the best chance to win on Sunday, and that’s what the Bucs need. Best of luck to Griese, and lets hope to have Garcia back soon.

Suggest removal

Por (James R. Kinzer) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Gruden always plays the injured person or the non performer until he loses AKA the Polish Pop Gun, Clayton and c. Williams.  Gruden’s head is harder than the goal posts at Ray Jay!!  His playbook is like learning Chinese and some publishers want a copy to sell as a cartoon!!  And we wonder why no free agents want to come to Tampa, it’s a combo of being too cheap and the treatment of veterans.  All that we can get to come to Tampa are some Has Beens and Wanna Bees.

Suggest removal

Por (Christian Hawley) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Greise looked pretty sweet in the pre-season! Last time he was a Buc before he blew his knee out he was 5-0. Go Bucs!!!!

Suggest removal

Por (James R. Kinzer) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Gruden always plays the injured person or the non performer until he loses AKA the Polish Pop Gun, Clayton and c. Williams.  Gruden’s head is harder than the goal posts at Ray Jay!!  His playbook is like learning Chinese and some publishers want a copy to sell as a cartoon!!  And we wonder why no free agents want to come to Tampa, it’s a combo of being too cheap and the treatment of veterans.  All that we can get to come to Tampa are some Has Beens and Wanna Bees.

Suggest removal

Por (Lou C) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

When I comment on this on the regular blog they won’t put it on. Delete it, now that is good freedom of speech. I will make it simple. Keep losing and then we can get rid of Gruden and his genius offensive game plan!!!

Suggest removal

Por (todd) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I am glad Griese is playing. He is going to give us the best chance of winning. We are not going to the super bowl this season so I think we should think about getting the 1st pick in the draft and maybe come up with a deal to get another 1st rounder. That would be our QB and WR that we desperately need. Galloway even looked like crap in that game. He isn’t going to be the same either. I Love my BUCS but I don’t want us to shoot ourselves in the foot. We really need to look for the future right now. “GO BUCS”

Suggest removal

Por (Jason) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Joe, Really? One of the more ignorant sports takes I have heard in a bit.

Suggest removal

Por (Jason) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Need More E Graham Period!

Suggest removal

Por (JB Datt) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Garcia has been torqued since not getting more money… I’d even go so far as to say he ‘threw’ the game.  You don’t just DONT see a linebacker after being a quarterback for a decade and half.  Don’t let him back John and Bruce and somehow tarnish his reputation the way you did to Simms.  Go Bucs.

Suggest removal

Por (Lou C) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Just heard that it isn’t injury its head problem. I guess losing million dollars, no new contract, trying to get rid of him for Farve has got something to do with it. I don’t blame him one bit for his feelings, you don’t take money from someone and not reward him in some other way and then try to get another QB so you can demote the starter. YOU ALL might think this is right but I DON’T and neither does GARCIA!!! Another nail in Grudens coffin!!! Stand up to him Jeff and maybe he will get run out of town this year.

Suggest removal

Por (charles) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

oliver, what do you mean lack of run game.  Graham had 91 yrds in 10 carries, Dunn had 54 yrds on 9 carries.  Thats 144 yds on 19 carries or 7.5 yrds per carry.  The Aints only had 101 yrds on 24 carries.  If anything teh Aints had a lack of run game.

Suggest removal

Por (Kenneth) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

All of you who have injured your ankles tripping on the Griese bandwagon really need to take a moment and think back to a few years ago.  Do any of you remember all the interceptions Brian threw, and at the worst possible times during down and distance or in the forth qtr?
Go dust off your VCR and plug in the old tapes one more time. Why do you all think we let him go the first time? If he was such a great QB why didn’t he stay here? Hmmmm (as light bulbs slowly flicker on).

Suggest removal

Por (James Anderson) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Garcia wouldn’t listen when his agent tried to temper his comments. Remember, this is biz. Jeff is a Hall of Famer in his own mind. I was glad to see him play so well last year, but maybe now we know why Philly had no interest whatsoever in keeping him after taking Philly to the playoffs in 2006. Everyone second guesses the GM and coach. By the way, anyone see how well the defense played in Detroit of all the players we should have kept. And is there a Simeon siting? Simms flies to Boston and gets told no thanks. They get paid to see and know things before we do. The trade for Griese had a purpose.

Suggest removal

Por (James Anderson) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Wow…Jeff bigger than Jon?!? Just read the ‘stand up to him’ post. Newsflash, Garcia is already standing. And ‘feeling’ is not what a qb should be getting screwed up with the first week of a season. This is poor team play and disrespect to every player that actually practiced and played all preseason. We have 52 guys who want to win and busted their butts to have an NFL career in Tampa. Garcia should be a professional and play his best no matter what….the last think Gruden should tolerate is a qb with mood swings! Period!

Suggest removal

Por (Paul Anderson) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Let the road to the Super Bowl begin. Compared to Brian Griese, Jeff Garcia is a complete poser. Griese has the best fundamentals in the game and he’s by far the smartest qb who ever lived. Way to go Jon Gruden!

Suggest removal

Por (BigBucFan) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Kinzer, you’re the #1 Idiot on this site. All of your comments suck. You must be one miserable piece of existance. Why don’t get off your sister & go find a dark corner to crawl up and die in. When I read your stuff, all that comes to mind is “What can Brown do for you?”. Where are all my Saints’ fan buddies? At least they have an understanding of the game. This is a great move by Chucky & know that McCown will be ready to step in on a moments notice. Go Bucs!!! Go55DB4Life!!!

Suggest removal

Por (BigBucFan) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Hey Todd, it’s starting to look like a 1’st rounder for Favre was a small price to pay. He sure is playing well in Green. Pewter & Red sure would have been much better. Thanks for trying. So anyone thing Garcia may be headed to the Pats? I think he’s done here. I love 4 o’clock games, perfect for partying before & after. WooooooWoooooo!!! GO Bucs!!!

Suggest removal

Por (Nick) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Did anybody see those Bombs Farve threw? How much are the Bucs under cap? How much are Bucs tickets? and the sclapers are selling them half off? How many sacks do we have? How tall is Jeff Garcia? no way hes 6’1’’! Can he throw a spiral 40yds on target? 6oyds? can we trade him and keep his wife? Did anybody see Jackson for the Eagles? did u see Johnson for the Lions? Did you c T.Jones 4 the JETS?
Did you see our run game?
was it to awesome? Did Gruden play qb in college? Living via Jeff Garcia…
Stop micro-managing the offense with the troll. Put in Cool Hand Luke! or Greise and ask if we can get our 5th rd pick back from last year?
ScareCrow got a Brain. Why Not Gruden?
Benching Garcia, Nice! See Virgina there is a Santa Claus!

Suggest removal

Por (Kenneth) on September 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

“...Best fundamentals in the game”? “..the smartest qb who ever lived”. James/Paul..whoever you are..I don’t know how much Greise’s agent is paying you to write this b s but here are some stats for you to ponder before posting:

Griese started 17 games between ‘04-‘05. 
Completion percentage has been between 63.4 and 69.3 percent (which is very average).
Threw 19 interceptions in those 17 starts!
Compared to only 27 TD’s (that’s abysmal).
Fumbled the ball 8 times!

Fine, you don’t like Garcia..we get your point, but ‘smartest qb who ever lived’?

Suggest removal
Page 1 of 3 pages

Post a comment

Members:

(Requires free registration.)




Auto-login on future visits

Show my name in the online users list

Forgot your password?


Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.